Monday, June 26, 2006

Et Ret - Gasworks

Et Ret
Western Vinyl

I have to admit that what initially captured my attention about this album was not the music, but rather, the cover photography. I was in one of my local record stores and saw this album from a few feet away. I don't know what it was about the photograph in particular. It just stood out, this lone, dark figure, silhouetted against a cloudy sky. I picked it up, looked at it, read the track listing, and put it back. Later that night, I did some digging and found a few mentions of Et Ret's Gasworks. Then I came across a few excerpts on Western Vinyl's site and was immediately captivated. I'm a sucker for the instrumental. A lot of instrumental/drone/folktronica has made it's way to my cd rack lately and when I heard this, I knew I'd be heading out the next day to pick it up.

Et Ret opens with The First Day (Marveling) which is a great intro to what you'll hear the rest of the way. A repetitve pulse carries you through the four-minute-plus track. Violins sway and swoon, interjecting as the tune carries on, never straying from it's early-established tone. Standout tracks inlcude Apokalyptein, Won By Walking, and Letting Go of the Balloon. By the end, you've listened to 36 minutes of folk-tinged, drone-like compositions that are soft, yet compelling.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable album. If you're like me and crave a good background/headphone album every now and again, this is definitely one to pick up. But know what you're getting into: this is not an album that's going to blow you away with volume. It hides away, getting it's point across with a whisper rather than a shout. It's one of those albums you enjoy simply because the artist is trying something different. Sure, there's lots of instrumental stuff out there right now, but I can't really think of one that sounds quite like Et Ret.

Check it out if you like: Godspeed You Black Emperor!, The Books
Listen to a sample here: "The First Day (edit)"


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